Simple Ways (Even for Impulse Buyers) to Become Money-Savvy
Whether you're working a part-time job or your parents are giving you an allowance, having money of your own is such a rewarding feeling. Who doesn't love having a wallet full of moolah?
Although splurging on that cute new pair of shoes or concert tickets for fall sounds like an ideal plan, impulse purchases can affect you in the long run.
If you're looking for simple ways to start becoming savvy with your cash now (so you can live like a queen down the road) follow these 11 guidelines that have helped me save like a champ growing up.
Use Your Student I.D.
Did you know that dozens of retail stores offer discounts just for being a student? Well, they do! Huge chunks of money can be saved on movie tickets, clothing purchases and even food just by asking at checkout if your I.D. will help you save. It never hurts to ask!
Pack Your Lunch
Eating out can be a lot more expensive than you imagine. Those lunchtime runs to Starbucks and those pizza and fry purchases in the caf stack up eventually, and before you know it your hard-earned money is gone. Packing your school lunch is one of the easiest ways to save a few bucks. Raid your fridge, finding standard items your parents probably already purchased for you like lunch meat, fruits and veggies. It's way cheaper than a meal out at the mall or at school—and it's probably a lot healthier!
When Ordering Out, Get Water and Go Halfsies on a Meal
Although it's always nice to order a soda or fun fruity drink when eating out, those drinks are putting a major damper on your tab (and teeth, for that matter). To save immensely, simply just order water. It's better for you, it's way cheaper and it fills you up faster. If you want to cut the cost of your meal in half, offer to go halfsies with your bestie on a meal or split a couple of appetizers. You and your wallet will be full!
If a part-time job doesn't fit into your schedule at the moment, you can easily make money by giving up some of the clothing in your closet that you don't wear anymore. Simply take those used items to a local fashion resale retailer like Buffalo Exchange and trade them for cash. It's the easiest way to clean out your closet and make some extra bucks all at once.
Save Those Coupons That Come With Your Receipt
You know those pesky little coupons that come attached to your receipt at the grocery store and CVS? Don't throw them away! They can actually be very valuable. Usually, the coupon is a discount for one of the items you've just purchased. Stash those away in your wallet or in a drawer at home, and then whip them out next time you return to that store.
Get Entrepreneurial Practice
If your allowance is your only current source of income, try getting out there in the work force and making some money of your own. Ask your parents if they have any friends or co-workers who are looking for a babysitter, pet sitter or help around the house. If you have a knack for making crafts or for tutoring in a certain subject, utilize those skills and make money doing it. Snag a gig every so often and then take that money and save it. When you earn money for yourself, you will appreciate it so much more.
Always Go for Buy One, Get One Free Deals
If you see a buy one, get one free deal on a product (like shampoo or hair ties) that you use frequently, always go for it! You know you're going to eventually buy that product again, so taking advantage of the BOGO sale will benefit you in the long run. Forward thinking is a big part of the money-saving process. ????
Sign Up for Coupon Text Alerts
We're already connected to our smart phones 99.9% of the time, so why not use them to our advantage? Setting up coupon text alerts is one of the most effective ways to become aware of discounts at stores where you frequently make purchases. Setting up the alerts may take some time, but after the initial setup, no effort is required on your end. I found a pretty comprehensive list of retail shops I visit for makeup, accessories, clothing and food that all have these text alerts. Instructions for how to sign up for them can be found HERE.
Head Straight to the Sale Rack
This one is obvious, but it has to be stated. If you just cannot be pulled away from the mall and you need to go shopping, do yourself and your wallet a favor by always hitting the sale rack first. Chances are you'll instantly find something you love and won't even be tempted to look at the full-priced items. Don't cut down the sale rack, it has some hidden treasures.
Pause and Think About Each Purchase
When making any purchase, I always stop and ask myself three questions: Do I need this? Will I use this? Could I live without this? If you answer yes to the first two and no to the latter, then your purchase is probably justifiable. If you're buying an item because you want it but don't need it, you're probably going to have buyer's remorse. If you ask yourself these three questions and still aren't sure what to do, put the item on hold and think about it for 24 hours—it will be pretty clear whether making the purchase is a solid decision once you've given it a little more thought.
Set Up a Savings Account
The best way to start saving is to put a set amount of money aside each month. When I turned 13 my mom went to the bank with me and made me set up a savings account, and I'm so glad that she did. During high school, I set aside a chunk of my earnings each month, and by the end of high school I had a savings account that made me proud. It's cliché, but it's true: It's never too early to start saving!
Now that you're on your way to saving big, why not follow THESE nine thrift store hacks that will help you in your frugal endeavors!